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Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II
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Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  723 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Penguin delivers you to the front lines of The Pacific Theater with the real-life stories behind the HBO miniseries.Former Marine and Pacific War veteran Robert Leckie tells the story of the invasion of Okinawa, the closing battle of World War II. Leckie is a skilled military historian, mixing battle strategy and analysis with portraits of the men who fought on both sides ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Penguin Books (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,876)
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Aug 17, 2010 Amber rated it liked it
This was the last little WWII book I had stockpiled away to read while I watched "The Pacific." It was a very much a strategic and military history (more than say a personal war account, although there were a few of those mixed in) and therefore was a little hard for me to follow at times. It was remarkable in that it followed both the strategic moves of the Japanese AND the American forces on Okinawa. The two biggest things I learned were 1) what a huge part Kamikaze played in the last effort o ...more
Patrick McCoy
Nov 05, 2013 Patrick McCoy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, history
I enjoyed Robert Leckie's autobiography, Helmet for My Pillow (one of the biographies that inspired the HBO miniseries The Pacific). So when I found out that he had written a book on the battle of Okinawa, Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II (1996), before I was scheduled for my second visit to the island I knew it would be my background reading there. Leckie points out some astonishing facts: "Never before...had there been an invasion armada the equal of the 1,600 seagoing ships carrying 5 ...more
Michael Blackmer
Apr 29, 2015 Michael Blackmer rated it it was amazing
Excellent account of the battle for Okinawa by a participant. Very clearly written and lays out the background of the battle well at the start.
Feb 19, 2016 Dave rated it liked it
"Okinawa" is an account of the last ground battle of World War 2, presented by writer Robert Leckie. A WW2 combat veteran himself, Leckie recreates the 83-day battle that saw tremendous casualties for both the Americans and the Japanese. This is not a straightforward work of military history, however. Instead, Leckie focuses on the individuals caught up in the fighting, from the generals and admirals conducting the battle down to the foot soldiers caught in its chaos. Of course Leckie does a goo ...more
Cole Greer
Oct 05, 2014 Cole Greer rated it liked it
The author wrote this book to show us the experiences that the people and the war went through. Robert Leckie really wanted to show us about the experiences and what people were going through.

The theme of this book is to never give up. Always keep fighting. There were long and bloody battles that only the toughest would win.
There were long nights and bloody days, if you would of given up, you would of died.

This was written in a description style. Robert described the events and the experiences
Trenton Hayes
Jul 23, 2014 Trenton Hayes rated it liked it
Well, I came to this book wanting to dig deeper into WWII, after a soupçon of a one-volume history, and I had this laying at hand. My granddaddy fought here, and I knew only the broadest outlines of the battle, so why not?

This is a soldier's account. That pretty much means it is not for me; I am not terribly interested in the history of squad-level tactics, and as magnificent as CMofH winners are, invariably, short accounts of their mind-blowing heroics are usually not interesting(either nothing
Jill Hutchinson
Jun 01, 2016 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwi-wwii
This small but important book on the last battle in the Pacific of WWII, is informative and easy to read. The author, a veteran of the Pacific theater, allows the reader to see the horror of the island to island fighting that marked the end of the war and the lengths to which Japan would go before surrendering. (Of course we know that it took two atomic weapons to accomplish surrender.) The Japanese troops fought like demons and their attitudes of glory for the Emperor and "no surrender" were fo ...more
Jun 01, 2015 Ron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Robert Leckie was a marine in the Pacific during WWII. He has written a number of books, perhaps most notably "Helmet on My Pillow," a WWII personal memoir which served as one of the primary references for the HBO 2010 mini-series "The Pacific." He died in 2001 so would not know that his material would have renewed and important life given to it. As I learned from reading PT Deutermann's "Sentinels of Fire," the kamikaze was a devastatingly effective weapon of war against the American fleet in t ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Evan rated it it was ok
My wild guess is, please help me out here, that Robert Leckie has made a mistake in his book. In CH 24, he says "Ushijima...their headquarter under Hill 95...". Actually, Ushijima's final HQ was in Hill 89, not Hill 95. The Peace Memorial Park at Okinawa says it was Hill 89. The USMC's Okinawa: Victory in Pacific says Hill 89 (page 248). Hill 95 is actually 2.3 miles northeast to Hill 89, very close to Hanagusuku. Hill 95 is not even in Mabuni area. If I'm right, and if the Park official and USM ...more
Clint Deroze
Nov 30, 2011 Clint Deroze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many people say that history is written by the victor. The book Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II is not only a book about the American campaign, but also gives you a view of the Japanese perspective of this fierce battle. I thought this book was my favorite World War II book and that’s coming from a military buff.

I feel that the author did have a purpose in writing this book and that purpose being to inform people of the brutal fighting and staggering loss by both sides. Another reason
Clayton Weller
May 14, 2013 Clayton Weller rated it it was amazing
The book I have read for this assignment was, "Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II", by Robert Leckie. The reason the author wrote this story was to entertain the reader by a way of teaching and describing the real battle of Okinawa in a thrilling and amusing historic story. The author took a real historic event and real historic facts about the history of World War II and put it in an exciting story in how the United States Military defeated the Japanese enemy.
The theme of this story is
frederick haustein
verry accurate

I was on yontan in a corsair squadron vmf 311
I was a plane caption on 317, Tommy sherry was the pilot who
shot down 7enemy planes.
after the airborne attack Tokyo rose came on the radio and
said you boys think that you had fun last night wate until
tonight. nothing happened.

Wes Bartlett
May 16, 2015 Wes Bartlett rated it really liked it
Read this book for book club (a book that takes place in Asia). Interesting perspective. Author is a WWII Vet. It was obvious he knows a lot about the military. Good description but used too much military jargon when describing the units involved in the battle.
Oct 23, 2014 Martin rated it really liked it
Great book on content- but the version with no maps is annoying. Still a GREAT book by one who was there. Goes for a little melodrama- but still a gets across the insanity that was Okinawa...
Sandra Ianuzi
This was a great read - easy read. Quick overview of the Battle on Okinawa. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in WWII books.
May 05, 2015 sergei rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i really wanted to like this book, but i could not get over the fact news-type of narration with several stories here and there. it is indeed glorious material, but told poorly, IMHO.
Jens Ivar
May 26, 2013 Jens Ivar rated it it was ok
Stories about war are difficult to tell. Huge battles where tactics matter, individual storie and the background must told in non-confusing matter. It is difficult.

And Robert Leckie told the story of Okinawa in a Ok fashion. But he is a veteren himself so he emphasis on how the military of USA is great and he talks much about the heroics of the soldiers of USA. In the battle of Okinawa lots of young men went to die, and often in the most horrifying circumstances where they did not have any choi
Xianhai Cao (EVHS)
I felt that this book was alright. At certain points, it was quite slow, but at others, it was very interesting. It goes into great detail of the different key events in the war and is really worthwhile to read.
Sep 15, 2013 John rated it really liked it
An excellent account of the battle for Okinawa. Not as colorful as Leckie's memoir "A Helmet For My Pillow" nor Eugene Sledge's outstanding "With The Old Breed". There are just a few anecdotes, most involving the Marines of Leckie's own 1st Division (though he was long out of action by this point in the war). Regardless, it's a thorough study of the last battle of WWII and a fascinating look at the complex relationships the American and Japanese commanders had with their subordinates.
Timothy EVHS Do
Apr 02, 2015 Timothy EVHS Do rated it really liked it
I found Leckie's account of the Pacific theater to be very informative and entertaining. He writes about the circumstances of the battle from both sides and occasionally ties in his own experiences. The level of desperation of the Japanese forces towards the end of the war was displayed in full. Operation Ten-Go was a last attempt to push back the Americans. It was a nice change of pace from a normal informative book and I really enjoyed it.
Chris Reznor
Apr 10, 2012 Chris Reznor rated it it was ok
An exceptionally biased piece of historical literature. Given that the author fought in the theater being examined (though not in Okinawa itself) this is hardly a surprise though the occasional racists epithets cannot be excused. Still, there is the expression about history being written by the victors, of which this is a glowing example (though not to take away from the immense bravery of American troops who served).
Michael Gerald
Mar 18, 2012 Michael Gerald rated it it was amazing
There was a misconception that D-Day (Normandy) was the largest amphibious invasion. In reality, it was Okinawa. The fanaticism of the Japanese was defeated by American courage and sealed the deal for the decisive-and justified-use of the atomic bombs, thus putting an end to Japanese militarism and the Second World War.
Robert Melnyk
Nov 01, 2013 Robert Melnyk rated it liked it
Very good account of the battle at Okinawa. Well written and a quick read, giving details of this battle, as well as the reasons for the importance the battle. Reading books such as this one always leaves me in awe of what these men went through, and an understanding of why they are called "The Greatest Generation."
May 15, 2016 Kevin rated it liked it
Well written book on the okinawa campaign. The last battle of ww2 and it was another brutal one. the author does a good job describing the entire campaign and it's place in history. quick read and well worth it
Oct 09, 2013 Rob rated it it was amazing
A very solid overview of the battle of Okinawa. For those familiar with Leckie's more personal work (Helmet for My Pillow), this work bears little resemblance to that. It's a serious introduction for a casual audience.
Apr 12, 2012 Sheree rated it liked it
I'm not one to read war books like this but it was pretty decent. The chapters were short and it kept me going. A few characters I really liked even though they were only present for a paragraph or so.
Jun 23, 2014 Dave rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Very good and detailed history of the battle for Okinawa which did not get the attention that the D-Day invasion received but was just as crucial and costly in lives lost .
Kirk Bower
Wow! Gives a strong first hand perspective. Last major Japanese assault and everything thrown at the allies - plus heat, rain, SNAKES, and flame throwers. Must have been unreal.
Oct 17, 2013 ems rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, aзии
Very -- almost too -- detailed and precise account of the battle. Some language and cultural representations that might seem a bit dated (written by a vet of the Pacific).
Jul 22, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting read about the battle for Okinawa. I actually liked the way he wrote this better than he did on his other book, Helmet for my Pillow.

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Leckie was born on December 18, 1920, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey. He began his career as a writer in high school, as a sports writer for ''The Bergen Evening Record'' in Hackensack, New Jersey.

On January 18, 1942, Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.He served in combat in the Pacific theater, as a scout and a machine gunner in H Company, 2nd B
More about Robert Leckie...

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